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would keep the bush tax cuts in place. fewer than half knew that romney and not obama had promised to increase defense spending. only 23% were aware that payroll taxes had decreased during obama's term in office. only slightly more than half knew that paul ryan is the republican vice presidential nominee. the director of the annenberg center, kathleen hall jamieson, our master media decoder is back with us. welcome. >> thank you. >> so who's responsible for the widespread unawareness or ignorance that you report in your survey? is it the candidate, the media, or the voter? >> it's all three. and fortunately, we have the opportunity with presidential debates to do something that reliably increases knowledge. we've been studying presidential debates for a long time as a scholarly community. and to our surprise, we consistently find that those who watch debates, regardless of the level of knowledge they come in with, come out with more accurate knowledge as a general group. and they do this because those who haven't paid a great deal of attention have a lot to learn. those of us who'v
,000. >> woodruff: president obama and governor mitt romney were slugging it out again today on the campaign trail, both of them in the battleground state of ohio. and both of them mindful of the need to turn out younger voters, who went overwhelmingly for mr. obama in 2008, but who are proving more elusive this year. i traveled to the columbus area this past weekend ahead of the candidates to find out just how elusive. >> fired up! ready to go! >> woodruff: ohio state university students about to head out from an obama campaign office to register voters, yell a familiar refrain. >> fired up! ready to go! >> woodruff: they are a coveted voting block for the president, in this fiercely contested swing state. four years ago, mr. obama won 18- to 29-year-olds nationwide by 66% to 32%. a margin so large, young people were credited with putting him over the top in several key states. >> are you registered to vote? >> woodruff: surveys suggest he's sure to capture the majority of the youngest voter block again. but after four years of watching the president grapple with the realities of governing, they'
. >> woodruff: today at a campaign event in washington, president obama shared a message of what he called "economic patriotism" tied to a strong middle class. >> but our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met. we've still got the workers in the world, the best universities, the best scientists, the best... we got the best stuff. ( laughter ) we just got to bring it together. >> woodruff: consumer confidence is higher of late, and the president may be getting a boost from voter attitudes. an nbc news/"wall street journal" poll out last week found 42% of americans think the economy will improve in the next year. that's six points higher than a month ago. 18% say the economy will worsen, and almost a third expect it to stay the same. the obama campaign is also pointing to some revised job numbers to make its case. the u.s. bureau of labor statistics said yesterday there were nearly 400,000 more jobs created in the previous year that ended in march. that would mean that there are a higher number of jobs than when president obama took office. but the u.s. still has four million fewe
house, mitt romney and president obama are working to win the hearts and minds of voters. or american voters in the key swing states. america remains a 50-50 nation, split between republicans and democrats. the atmosphere has become so poisonous that the kind of bipartisan politics necessary to make government function are often missing. our correspondent reports from florida. >> the clips and the glamour, the ever-changing landscape of the miami skyline. for many americans, miami, but avian, too gleaming and in 2012, all eyes are on this state. >> florida matters, that is what we are going to be told over and over again. 29 votes. it is a big state that could make all of the difference between obama and romney. all of that is true. but who cares? or to put it more precisely, are we missing the bigger picture for florida and the rest of the united states? which is that this country has become ungovernable. its politics are poisonous. miami dade colleges the biggest in the nation. 175,000 students. all of them called on the streets in this massive voter registration drive which comes a
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